Prep Football: The Notebook, Week 11
From staff reports
OK, it was fun being in the pressbox watching. But West Rowan’s Scott Young, recovering from a heart attack, says he will be back on the sideline this week when the Falcons open defense of their 3A state title with Mount Pleasant.
He watched from above in West’s 21-0 victory over West Iredell. He will not be another Joe Paterno, however. He’s leaving the pressbox for Michael Johns’ Tigers.
MILLER’S TIME: Tailback Dinkin Miller leads the county — by a lot — with 1,596 rushing yards.
His career total of 3,716 yards ranks him third in school history behind K.P. Parks and Wade Moore and fourth in county history behind Parks, Carson’s Shaun Warren and Moore.
In recent games, Miller has steamed past luminaries such as West’s Joe Jackson, Salisbury’s Dario Hamilton and Thomas Lowe, whose career was split between East and South Rowan.
Miller piled up 1,805 rushing yards as a junior, and he’ll surpass that total if West makes a nice playoff run.
GOOD D: Young could not praise Maurice Warren and the defensive line enough for its work against West Iredell.
Warren had to step up since Troy Culbertson moved from defensive line to linebacker.
“We can’t fuss at those defensive guys much,” Young smiled.
LOGAN BRINGS IT: There was nothing to say to junior linebacker Logan Stoodley except “Great game.” He made an athletic interception early from close range.
“I was impressed with that interception,” Young said. “It set the tone.”
HASSARD WARNING: West missed starting offensive lineman Chris Hassard last week because of a badly sprained ankle.
“I think he’ll play this week,” Young said.
Salisbury’s 466 rushing yards against East Davidson marked the most ground yards for the Hornets since they pummeled Providence Grove for 468 yards in their regular-season finale in 2008.
Salisbury got 100-plus yards from Justin Ruffin, team co-offensive player of the week Max Allen and Dominique Dismuke in Friday’s 48-6 win against East Davidson.
While it sounds astonishing for a team to have three 100-yard guys in the same game, the wishbone Hornets are the right team for the job. This was actually the fourth time they’ve accomplished the “triple-triple” feat in just the last four seasons.
In a 2009 playoff game against Shelby, Dismuke, Ike Whitaker and QB John Knox all rushed for 100-plus yards.
Twice in 2008, the Hornets got 100-plus yards in the same game from the formidable trio of Whitaker, A.J. Ford and Dario Hamilton.
Salisbury’s backfield has produced 16 100-yard games already this season, with Ruffin (five), Dismuke (four), QB Brian Bauk (three), Allen (two) and Dejoun Jones (two) all getting into the act. Jones is primarily a defensive back, but he filled in admirably when Allen was injured.
AND RUN SOME MORE: Braylon Dailey, a backup running back, has carried only 17 times this season, but he’s made the most of his chances.
He scored his fifth TD on Friday.
BIG BEN: Tight end Ben Ritchie shared offensive player of the week honors with Allen. Pinyan said he had his best blocking game of the season.
GOOD CALL: After Salisbury took a 7-6 lead in the second quarter, it surprised East Davidson so thoroughly with a nicely executed onsides kick that the only players anywhere in the vicinity of the ball were Hornets.
Defensive player of the week B.J. Woods made perhaps the most uncontested recovery in football history.
IMPROVEMENT: Pinyan was pleased to see the Hornets reduce turnovers and clean up some special-teams issues on Friday.
“We eliminated a few problems,” he said.
It still wasn’t perfect. Twice the Hornets couldn’t kick PATs due to snap issues, but the adverse elements probably contributed.
GROUNDED: Linebacker Travis Byrd was still on the shelf with a separated shoulder on Friday, but Clint Comadoll made his presence felt as a capable replacement and earned the defensive player of the week award.
Quan Davis continues to play well with McCain out.
WHO’S THAT? Freshman linebacker Jeffrey Burton was all bandaged up, but he made some nice tackles late in Friday’s game.
BOTH WAYS: With offensive left tackle Garrett Yelton out for the season (concussion), the Hornets are getting double duty out of Jared Hardin, who also starts at defensive tackle.
Injuries have hurt Carson all year and several young players were forced to step up in the Cougar’s season-ending 28-7 win over North Iredell.
Connor Bridges suffered bruised ribs early in the game, forcing Will Zentmeyer to go from linebacker to safety. Lineman Kaz Ivanov moved to linebacker. Carson then put freshman Alex Lyles on the defensive line. Coaches said the 230-pound diaper dandy did well.
There were several sophomores playing this year and the Cougars will have nine players back on defense who started at least once this season.
RECORD: Sophomore Austin McNeill threw two TD passes in Carson’s season finale.
McNeill had 15 TD passes for the season to tie the school record set by Zack Gragg in 2009. Gragg had 14 TD tosses in 2010.
SLOOP DOG: Brandon Sloop had the biggest rushing season by a freshman in school history with 956 yards.
With Johnny Oglesby and Xavier Robinson turning in solid games, the Cavaliers (4-7) accumulated a season-high 270 rushing yards in a 22-0 win against South Davidson.
It was the most rushing yardage by the Cavaliers since — you guessed it — they rolled for 381 against South Davidson in 2009.
Oglesby’s 119 yards against Chatham Central is the biggest rushing game by a Cavalier this season.
SURPRISE THREE: Hopefully, no one at Eagle Stadium fainted when Parker Smith booted a fourth-quarter field goal for the Cavs on Friday.
It was the program’s first field goal since Nick Alfieri kicked one in 2005 in a 23-0 CCC victory against Central Davidson.
For the record, the Cavs went 74 games without a field goal.
HE’S GOOD: Javon Hargrave may have moved on, but the fumble recoveries have continued, thanks to Jake Becker, who transferred in from Lake Norman.
He fell on his sixth of the season, which puts him among the state’s leaders, according to coach Tasker Fleming. And Becker has done it on a bum ankle.
“He’s a magnet to the ball,” Fleming said. “His mobility is coming back. It has been a slow process but he has played through pain.”
TOP CAVS: Fleming appreciates the hard play of sophomore Cecil McCauley and senior Josh Mock. In Friday’s win, McCauley joined Becker with a fumble recovery.
“He’s improved a lot at defensive tackle,” Fleming praised. “He keeps working hard.
“Mock’s a kid who has moved around a lot and has helped us wherever we need him.”
Nathan Lambert finished his junior year with a bang with four TD passes in 42-25 loss to Statesville.
He threw for a school-record 1,792 yards and 14 TDs this season.
Josh Medlin had another 100-yard receiving game and caught his sixth and seventh TD passes.
In the fourth quarter, Logan Beck and Jordan Kennerly made their first TD receptions.
Kennerly has overcome a long list of injuries, including broken arms, to stick with football, so that was a nice way to finish up for the Raiders.
Junior running back Kalif Phillips scored twice in a 26-21 win against Concord, boosting his season total to 25 touchdowns and earning game MVP honors.
Phillips carried 29 times for 119 yards, giving him six 100-yard games in his last seven outings.
Phillips was once again named the Wonders’ offensive player of the week by the coaching staff.
Interior defensive lineman Jericho Rivers was hard to block and was named the team’s “Hawg of the Week.”
Safety Kenon Jones picked up the “Hitman of the Week” award and Xavier Stanback, who had a big kickoff return, was honored as special teams player of the week.
Corner Jamar Clemons was honored for defense.
HANG ON: The Wonders jumped ahead of Concord 24-0 after a sizzling first quarter, then held on to win 31-26 in the one of the wilder games in a wild series.
Brown (10-1) gave up 219 passing yards, 1 yard less than the season-high it allowed in its loss to Porter Ridge.
“They had a good gameplan,” safety Kaleel Hollis explained. “They’d isolate one of us and hit the seam. But when we had to, we buckled down and won the game.”
Brown used its nickel package on virtually every Concord snap, with corners Clemons and J.P. Lott and safeties Hollis and Jones being joined in the secondary by Desmond Lawson.
ALL SMILES: The A.L. Brown-Concord game is part of the U.S. Marines’ Great American Rivalry Series.
China Grove dentist Daniel Hamrick, an All-America offensive lineman at A.L. Brown in 1972, was honored at halftime along with Andre White, a standout quarterback at Concord in the 1980s.
In the amazing stats department, 10 of Davie’s 15 picks have come in the last two weeks.
SMOOT OPERATOR: Stephon Smoot banged out 164 rushing yards in Friday’s 31-16 win against rival North Davidson that gave the War Eagles (8-3) a share of the CPC championship.
It was Smoot’s fourth 100-yard game of the season and put him over 1,000 yards rushing.
NOT LACKING: Davie defensive tackle Jamal Lackey had another mind-boggling game against North Davidson, accounting for 17 tackles, five for loss.
Linebacker A.J. Blaskievich had nine solo stops.
OLD ENEMY: Davie will welcome Greensboro Dudley for the first round of the 4A playoffs.
The schools haven’t run into each other since they were CPC foes back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Ronnie Gallagher, Mike London, Ryan Bisesi and Brian Pitts contributed to the notebook.